with 'music' tag

i didn’t know adam was back yet

bagpiper on our parking garage

this afternoon, i was puzzled by the sound of bagpipes coming from outside. but i finally spotted the mysterious piper, doing his thing over on the roof of our parking garage. the back of his t-shirt says “old guys rule.”

maybe he’s an extra for the film shoot that is taking over several nearby blocks tonight.

silversun pickups at the troubadour

silversun pickups at the troubadour

we went to see silversun pickups on sunday. my fiancée celia’s cousin, christopher, is the drummer. this is a cameraphone shot from the “backstage” area, which is really a room up and off to the side of the stage.

the show was great, and we had a blast laughing at an overzealous fan who positioned herself in front of the keyboards and made grabs for joe’s feet while he was playing the last couple of songs. i think she managed to get up into the backstage area after the show.

i didn’t think to bring my camera with me to the show, but i like how this cameraphone shot turned out.

looking for a chinese jazz band

for our wedding, we’re looking for a jazz band with chinese vocalist and not having much luck so far. listen to some of the samples from the album “shanghai jazz: musical seductions from china’s age of decadence” and you’ll get the idea of what we really want.

we’re also looking into more traditional jazz bands as a fallback.

i like big beats

waiting to be unloaded

my fiancée celia once worked in the music industry. that explains her 26 filing boxes filled with cds. (and a big box of box sets, not pictured.)

the odd assortment of boxes on the top were my collection.

i think we should organize them by color.

as you can tell, the unpacking isn’t going swiftly.

without fear of hyperbole

this video is the best thing ever. (thanks to mike at franklin avenue.)

i’m having a hard time deciding which is my favorite moment from the video. is it the spinning video box? the dancing, sled-boarding arctic outfit? (with a fish in his mouth!) pogoing safari hasselhoff? when he’s flapping his arms and flying? standing on a motorcycle? (with the creepy masked guy in the background!)

i think it may be right near the end, where’s he flails around his arms like he is running, between arctic sled-boarding and riding across on a motorcycle.

weekend to-do

as laist covered and i said i’d mention earlier, there is a benefit concert this sunday at mr. t’s bowl in highland park, featuring the reunion of emm’t swank and performances by other great bands.

and tonight (and tomorrow), you can see the lyric opera of los angeles perform manon lescaut at the los angeles theatre on broadway. you can get free tickets through brady westwater.

smoosh got signed to a new record deal, with their new album coming out on june 20. they’ll be touring with the eels, and playing los angeles at the end of may. but it looks like those shows may already be sold out. (spotted at laist.)

new kleptones

ep1 by the kleptones is the first of a series of eps they are releasing to lead up to the release of a full album.

new (to me) music

i’ve started plundering the cd collection of my girlfriend celia. only a bazillion more to go. the shelf full of tributes and other strange collections is where i started.

recently acquired music

the last four were albums i downloaded from emusic as part of their two-week, 40-song free trial.

late additions:

like big rolling kegs

hedwig and the angry inch is a brilliant rock musical. hedwig is an east german transexual (almost — thus the angry inch) whose story is told in flashback as she tours with her band in venues in the shadow of the large concerts by the boy who spurned her and stole her songs. the songs are pretty much all works of genius, especially “the origin of love.”

syriana is a tight political thriller, and i think the rumblings about the complicated plot are largely overblown. it all pulls together in the end, and when i think people are responding to is the lack of clear good and bad guys. the performances are all stellar, and the direction is fantastic. there’s a scene involving an accident with a child that is just incredible in how it is handled.

rize is a documentary by photographer and music video director david lachapelle, and it was a real disappointment. it’s a chronicle of the clowning and krumping dance movements in south los angeles, and it veers from self-important and heavy-handed to not terribly interesting. the best-looking parts are entirely too good-looking, like clips from a music video. i think this was most disappointing because it could have been so good in the hands of a more capable documentary filmmaker.

friday is the new wednesday

i see hawks in l.a. have moved their “cole’s acoustic wednesday” to friday, and it is now weekly instead of monthly, at least through the next several weeks. they also have a new album coming out (sometime this year?) — you can check out some new tracks on myspace.

2005 in review: music

i had sort of decided to give doing a year-end music review a pass, but i was inspired by mike’s (of franklin avenue) mix of his favorite tracks of the year to do the same. as with his mix, it’s not just music released in 2005, but music new to me in 2005.

  1. “hip hopera” from the broken record by twink: every mix needs something interesting to kick it off, and this little song is mixed together from some old children’s records
  2. “aqui” from mtv unplugged: la ley by la ley: i suppose i should look up a translation of the lyrics some day, but this song even works without knowing that.
  3. “things the grandchildren should know” from blinking lights and other revelations by eels: i’ve been an eels fan for a long time, and i really liked the lyrics to this song.
  4. “put it back together” from palookaville by fatboy slim: again, i’ve been a fatboy slim fan for a long time. this is my favorite from his latest album.
  5. “in the wee small hours” from astrud gilberto’s finest hour by astrud gilberto: obviously not a new release, but one of my favorite from this greatest hits album.
  6. “a change at christmas (say it isn’t so)” from ego tripping at the gates of hell by the flaming lips: not really the flaming lips song i wanted to include (that would be “fight test” from yoshimi battles the hip-hop robots), but this is also an excellent song that actually stands alone.
  7. “sleepwalking through the mekong” from dengue fever - ep by dengue fever: “a cambodian pop rock psychedelic dance party” with lyrics in khmer — you have to love it.
  8. “tired of being alone” from al green: greatest hits by al green: uh, yeah.
  9. “in my life” from kawaipunahele by keali'i reichel: also mike’s fault, and one of those beatles covers i am way too fond of.
  10. “the vicodin song” from terra naomi ep by terra naomi: my favorite song by my favorite local musician.
  11. “close to my girl” from from detroit to j.a. by the kleptones: i love all of the kleptones mashups, and this is one of my favorite tracks from the latest.
  12. “goodnight and go” from speak for yourself by imogen heap: yes, it’s an overlap with mike’s mix. but this really is the best song from a fantastic album.
  13. “hotel california (spanish mix)” from ¡volare! - the very best of the gypsy kings by the gypsy kings: a muy bueno version of a classic california song.
  14. “groovallegiance” from one nation under a groove by funkadelic: george clinton and his bands is something that has always been over the horizon of my awareness, and i was just blown away by this album (and this song) when i finally picked it up.
  15. “dark as a dungeon” from will the circle be unbroken by the nitty gritty dirt band: i wanted some country music, and liked the idea of this meeting of a bunch of dirty hippies from california and some classic nashville musicians — and was not disappointed at all.
  16. “everybody loves a loser” from the antidote by morcheeba: i haven’t been a morcheeba fan for that long, but i really like this new album, and this song in particular.
  17. “let it be” from beatles regrooved by eros: like i said, i am way too fond of beatles covers. i know i shouldn’t like this one as much as i do, but i do.
  18. “humboldt” from grapevine by i see hawks in l.a.: my favorite song by my favorite local band.
  19. “revolverlution” from from detroit to j.a. by the kleptones: yes, another mashup from the kleptones makes them the only repeat artist. this mashes together a spoken word piece with some perfectly-matched music, and i think makes a great closer to a mix.

total running time: 1:19:40

if you want a copy of the mix, let me know. no fancy cover for me, and i guess i may only be able to burn seven copies due to the couple of tracks that are fairplay-protected. (unless i deal with stripping that.)

blues, fried chicken, and…

i finally made it out to little pedro’s last night to see mickey champion, south side slim, and some others whose names i did not catch. the music was great, the fried chicken was good, and the corn bread isn’t worth quibbling about.

but giant isn’t playing

giant village 2006 is a big new years eve thing happening in downtown los angeles. the flaming lips are playing, along with a bunch of other interesting acts. tickets are $80, or $150 for vip tickets that get you into a special lounge at the pegasus.

and next wednesday, i see hawks in l.a. does the cole’s thing again.


you can get the albums at amazon, but i got them both through negativmailorderland.

feeling bad

met a girl at the movies
she was so beautiful
she was the one for me
so i asked her if i could call her at home
she said “no thanks just give me my popcorn”
so i followed her into the theater
and found a seat that was right behind her
smelled her hair, smelled her sweater
and then i touched myself

feeling bad about myself again
feeling bad oh yeah
feeling bad about myself again today

at the school, at the rock show
at the rollercade, everywhere i go
people are smiling
it’s always been the same
they’re wearin’ groovy clothes
check me out i’m lame
paid for a membership down at the local gym
tired of getting dumped, let’s get really pumped
thought i’d look like henry rollins
but i still look like phil collins

feeling bad about myself again
girls ignore me in the chat room
feeling bad about myself again today

we were in paris
we were up in the eiffel tower
we were getting married and all our friends were there
we made love underneath the parisian moon
but that was just a dream
just a dream
just a crazy dream

feeling bad about myself again
feeling bad oh yeah
feeling bad about myself again today
feeling bad about myself again
first to be the last one picked first
i’m feeling bad today
— “feeling bad,” by nerf herder, from how to meet girls

recipe for a better day

  1. take the day off work
  2. watch the vikings eke out another win
  3. go see i see hawks in l.a. play at the echo
  4. discover the chapin sisters

the los angeles downtown news explains how mickey champion ended up performing at little pedro’s every week. going to one of her performances is one of those things on my to-do list that never gets done.

the mystery of capitalism: why capitalism triumphs in the west and fails everywhere else by hernando de soto can very nearly be summed up in two words: property rights. more specifically, the formal recognition of property rights that allows property to take on value above and beyond its physical manifestation.

one question it brought to mind for me is whether it is possible that our current copyright system, with no registration necessary, is really stifling the value of so-called intellectual property. what is something like the broken record by twink, if not something built in an extralegal framework? (assuming that they haven’t really tracked down the copyright holders of the “hundreds of vintage children’s records.”)

new music tuesday

i’ve got a long way to go before my music collection gets this out of control, but i keep adding to it. (but all of my cds are just in milk crates and boxes on shelves, not poised to fall on my head when the big one hits.)

things the grandchildren should know

i go to bed real early
everybody thinks it’s strange
i get up early in the morning
no matter how disappointed i was
with the day before
it feels new

i don’t leave the house much
i don’t like being around people
makes me nervous and weird
i don’t like going to shows either
it’s better for me to stay home
some might think it means i hate people
but that’s not quite right

i do some stupid things
but my heart’s in the right place
and this i know

i got a dog
i take him for a walk
and all the people like to say hello
i’m used to staring down at the sidewalk cracks
i’m learning how to say hello
without too much trouble

i’m turning out just like my father
though i swore i never would
now i can say that i have a love for him
i never really understood
what it must have been like for him
living inside his head

i feel like he’s here with me now
even though he’s dead

it’s not all good and it's not all bad
don’t believe everything you read
i’m the only one who knows what it’s like
so i thought i’d better tell you
before i leave

so in the end i’d like to say
that i’m a very thankful man
i tried to make the most of my situations
and enjoy what i had
i knew true love and i knew passion
and the difference between the two
and i had some regrets
but if i had to do it all again
well, it’s something i’d like to do
— “things the grandchildren should know,” by eels from blinking lights and other revelations

i’m so lonesome i could cry

hear that lonesome whippoorwill
he sounds too blue to fly
the midnight train is whining low
i’m so lonesome i could cry

i’ve never seen a night so long
when time goes crawling by
the moon just went behind a cloud
to hide its face and cry

did you ever see a robin weep
when leaves begin to die?
like me, he’s lost the will to live
i’m so lonesome i could cry

the silence of a falling star
lights up a purple sky
and as i wonder where you are
i’m so lonesome i could cry
— “i’m so lonesome i could cry,” by hank williams from 20 of hank williams’ greatest hits (among other hank williams albums)

not a happy song.

i decided that since i owned the soundtrack, i should actually get around to seeing stark raving mad. (the soundtrack was done by john digweed and nick muir.) it turns out that it is a heist movie where the bank robbery is being done behind the scenes at a rave. it’s a pretty decent heist movie, with a few interesting twists but not too much that comes as a surprise. one of the funniest scenes involves dave foley playing an undercover fbi agent who ends up having another connection to the rave.

listening to a bit of the commentary, the directors seemed very proud of themselves that they had captured the feel of a rave, and while i guess they did a good job of that (not that i would really know), i think groove is a much better-looking film. stark raving mad has a few too many jump-cuts, and the cinematography isn’t as crisp as what i remember from groove.

out of time by r.e.m. and music to shag by by various artists are two albums i got via barterbee, working on closing out my account before it costs me money. nevermind by nirvana and a couple of movies should also be on the way.

the barterbee idea is interesting, but the selection of items turned out rather mediocre. (not that i contributed a whole lot of really exciting items to the pool.)


and the sign said, “long-haired freaky people need not apply”
so i tucked my hair up under my hat, and i went in to ask him why
he said, “you look like a fine, upstanding young man, i think you’ll do”
so i took off my hat and said, “imagine that, ha! me workin’ for you!”

oh, sign, sign, everywhere a sign
blockin’ out the scenery, breakin’ my mind
do this, don’t do that, can’t you read the sign

and the sign said anybody caught trespassin’ would be shot on sight
so i jumped on the fence and i yelled at the house
“hey, what gives you the right
to put up a fence to keep me out, or to keep mother nature in
if god was here he’d tell you to your face, man you’re some kind of sinner!”

now hey there mister can’t you read
you got to have a shirt and tie to get a seat
you can’t even watch, no you can’t eat
you ain’t supposed to be here

the sign said you got to have a membership card to get inside, ha!

and the sign said “everybody welcome, come in, kneel down and pray”
but when they passed around the plate at the end of it all
i didn’t have a penny to pay
so i got me a pen and a paper, and i made up my own little sign
i said “thank you, lord, for thinkin’ about me, i’m alive and doin’ fine”
— “signs,” by arthur thomas

there’s a great version of this song by tesla from their five man acoustical jam live album.

it’s almost the end of the month, which means it is almost time for the monthly truly acoustic wednesday at cole’s featuring i see hawks in l.a. and amy farris. it’s october 26 at 9pm.

also, the upcoming.org cats are having their farewell-to-los-angeles party on saturday, october 22. it starts at the broadway bar in downtown los angeles at 8pm.

i think there’s something else happening this weekend, but i don’t remember what it is.

made of stone

i know you know but you don’t talk
you let it all go by
you won’t kiss so you won’t get hurt
here on the other side
you turn away and won’t look, like you’d rather be alone

i bet you wish that you were made of stone
i bet you wish that you were made of stone
i will, you won’t cause you don’t try
i wonder what you see
looking out your window dreamin’
dreamin’ what could be
it’s hard to find a soul here, in this crowd of skin and bone

i’m something to believe in
let me take you far away
never stop your dreamin’
cause dreams are what the world is made of

someday you’re gonna wake up
and you won’t be there alone
and you won’t wish that you were made of stone
you’ll never wish that you were made of
never never wish that you were made of
you’ll never wish that you were made of stone
— “made of stone,” by susanna hoffs, from when you’re a boy

one of the things i like about putting my whole music collection on shuffle is how songs that i wouldn’t otherwise seek out can just pop out at me.

i guess that means i’m opening a little bit of a window to my subconscious when i post the lyrics that do that.

everybody loves a loser

this time you have to face your future
although it’s just a dusty road
it’s clear that backing down don’t suit you
i’d hate to break your sacred code
people along for the ride
high noon’s getting closer

i think you’ll find
everybody loves a loser
so you’ll be fine
you won’t be lonely long
i think you’ll find
everybody loves a loser
so you’ll be fine
you won’t be lonely long

i see you need a trial of fire
a coward would wisely walk away
heaven help us bide our time
hideouts get discovered

i think you’ll find
everybody loves a loser
so you’ll be fine
you won’t be lonely long
i think you’ll find
everybody loves a loser
so you’ll be fine
you won’t be lonely long
— “everybody loves a loser,” by morcheeba, from the antidote

not bursting into tears

i went up to hollywood to see serenity at the arclight only to find it wasn’t playing. bastards. i almost went to see wallace & gromit: the curse of the were-rabbit instead, but the next showtime wasn’t for almost two hours.

so i got sucked into amoeba records instead. the damage:

i also finally got some reasonable placemats for my kitchen table. next thing you know, i’ll get some dirt and gravel and actually plant the herbs in the portable herb garden in the center of the kitchen table. or maybe that will take another few years.

salon’s audiofile has imogen heap’s “hide and seek” as a free download. speak for yourself, her solo album, will finally be released here on november 1.

she’ll also be playing at hotel cafe on october 26.

the soft bulletin by the flaming lips is an album i bought to bump an amazon order into free shipping. not quite as brilliant as yoshimi battles the pink robots, but still very good.

smoosh is playing the el rey theatre on october 20.

here today

it starts with just a little glance now
right away you’re thinkin’ ’bout romance now
you know you ought to take it slower
but you just can’t wait to get to know her

a brand new love affair is such a beautiful thing
but if you’re not careful think about the pain it can bring

it makes you feel so bad
it makes your heart feel sad
it makes your days go wrong
it makes your nights so long

you’ve got to keep in mind love is here today
and it’s gone tomorrow
it’s here and gone so fast

right now you think that she’s perfection
this time is really an exception
well you know i hate to be a downer
but i’m the guy she left before you found her

well i’m not saying you won’t have a good love with her
but i keep on remembering things like they were

she made me feel so bad
she made my heart feel sad
she made my days go wrong
and made my nights so long

you’ve got to keep in mind love is here today
and it’s gone tomorrow
it’s here and gone so fast

keep in mind love is here today
and it’s gone tomorrow
it’s here and gone so fast

love is here today
and it’s gone tomorrow
it’s here and gone so fast
— “here today,” by the beach boys, from pet sounds


letter strangely enough, i lettered in high school. i think the gold bar was for some sort of academic achievement. (looking at the program from my high school graduation, i got awards for academics, leadership, and service. go me.)

the letter was for band. i was never particularly good (i played the trombone), but i remember killing a lot of time doing band-related things like playing at games, filing music during my empty periods, and painting the stage of the theater before a concert/variety-show thing that we did every year.

it had better be tonight

meglio stasera, baby, go go go!
or as we natives say, fa subito.

if you’re ever gonna kiss me
it had better be tonight
while the mandolins are playing
and stars are bright.

if you’ve anything to tell me
it had better be tonight
or somebody else may tell me
and whisper the words just right.

meglio stasera, baby, go go go!
or as we natives say, fa subito.

for this poor americano
who knows little of your speech
be a nice italiano
and start to teach.

show me how in old milano
lovers hold each other tight
but i warn you sweet paisano,
it had better be tonight.

meglio stasera, baby, go go go!
or as we natives say, fa subito
— “it had better be tonight,” lyrics by johnny mercer, music by henry mancini

in brief

before i went on vacation, i wrote myself a little note about a topic i wanted to write about. after thinking about it, i think the note covered it all: “credit. non-commercial use. bite me.”

so instead of trying to expand on that, i’m going to mop my apartment and do some laundry. and continue to listen to yoshimi battles the pink robots over and over again.

the second-to-last grand performances event of the year is upon us today, a free lunch concert by i see hawks in la.

yeah, this is pretty last-minute — the concert is at noon.

they’ll also be playing at cole’s next wednesday night. (but i’ll have to miss that one. my flight gets in after 11pm.)

more music

these are the two albums i was looking for, but did not find, at amoeba. cheap-cds.com to the rescue! (although now that i look closely, they would have been cheaper from amazon. silly me.)

the united state of electronica are playing at cinespace in hollywood tonight. you can check out some of their music on myspace.

they also played the knitting factory last night.

tonight’s show is actually part of the afterparty for another show.

new music

i am, of course, powerless to go to amoeba without picking up some music. surprisingly, they didn’t have the two albums i was looking for. i didn’t pick up the dengue fever album because i had to bail out quickly, but the part of their appearance that i caught was great.

some people might find the lyrics for “walking stick blues” very funny.

but those people are sick in the head.


i hurt myself today
to see if i still feel
i focus on the pain
the only thing that’s real
the needle tears a hole
the old familiar sting
try to kill it all away
but I remember everything

what have i become?
my sweetest friend
everyone i know
goes away in the end
you could have it all
my empire of dirt
i will let you down
i will make you hurt

i wear this crown of shit
upon my liar’s chair
full of broken thoughts
i cannot repair
beneath the stains of time
the feeling disappear
you are someone else
i am still right here

what have i become?
my sweetest friend
everyone i know
goes away in the end

you could have it all
my empire of dirt
i will let you down
i will make you hurt
if i could start again
a million miles away
i would keep myself
i would find a way
— “hurt,” by nine inch nails, from downward spiral

but the definitive version of this song is by johnny cash, from american iv: the man comes around. it’s right up there in contention for my favorite song ever.

not exactly a mood-lifter, though.

a little bit country

i’ve been feeling a little bit country the last few days — seeing i see hawks in l.a. and the other groups on wednesday, listening to will the circle be unbroken by the nitty gritty dirt band at the gym the last couple of days, and seeing seven redneck cheerleaders last night (short review: very funny, great cast that will be different if you go see it, and a really great theatre — i would have totally crashed in the comfy chairs if i hadn’t taken a nap earlier in the day).

just a few days ago i was worried about bouncing off the walls this weekend, but i hit a wall yesterday and am now looking forward to spending the weekend curled into a ball.

last night, i see hawks in l.a. mentioned that all the proceeds from sales of their albums on cd baby would be going to the red cross for hurricane katrina relief. a great cause and great music, how can you go wrong?

shannon pointed out that i see hawks in l.a. are playing another free show tonight at cole’s. i don’t think i can not go. the believers will also be playing — judging from the samples on their site, that should be a very good thing.

mickey champion performs every tuesday night at little pedro’s, the oldest bar in los angeles, located over in the arts district. i really need to go over there some day and catch her show. it includes free fried chicken and cornbread at 11pm.

slanty eyed mama was the happy surprise from last night’s grand performances. very funny, and great electric violin playing. marc bamuthi joseph was also excellent.

i see hawks in la were also great, as promised. and now i’ve actually seen and experienced the bar half of cole’s.

and then celia and shannon talked about various things and then worried that i would write about it. lucky for them, all i really remember is that boys are stupid.

and it is possible to be a bartender and not know how to make a long island iced tea. neither do i apparently, because i didn’t think tequila was a usual ingredient.

old souls last night before heading up to hotel cafe, i went to the rock ‘n’ rights: rockin’ for the mentally disabled concert in little tokyo and took some pictures. it was organized by a group of students, and was to benefit lamp community, which provides services to the mentally-ill (formerly) homeless in several locations downtown.

i went to hotel cafe by myself tonight, since i couldn’t find anyone else willing to go. not that i’m really fishing a well-stocked pond in that regard.

to make it brief, since i am tired and up way past my bed time: going to a bar by yourself — totally sucks. seeing terra naomi live — totally worth it.

jesca hoop was also pretty amazing.

call me clueless, but i did not realize that yoshimi battles the hip-hop robots by the kleptones was an album-centric mash-up based on yoshimi battles the pink robots by the flaming lips.

it’s funny to play the itunes previews for the flaming lips tracks and think “hey, that’s not quite how the song i know goes….”

i guess i’ll have to get the original album some day.

some music i did buy:

  • “woke up this morning” by a3 from exile on coldharbour lane: also known as the sopranos theme song
  • dengue fever - ep by dengue fever: mentioned by justin in his del.icio.us bookmarks — how can you not love “a cambodian pop rock psychedelic dance party” with lyrics in khmer?
  • “strawberry fields forever” by the real group from live from stockholm: because i love me them beatles covers — this is an a cappella version
  • “aqui” by la ley from mtv unplugged: la ley: more on the “music with lyrics in a language i can’t understand” theme
  • “nobody knows the trouble i’ve seen” by blind boys of alabama from if i had a hammer: for a non-religious guy, i like gospel music like this more than you’d think
  • al green: greatest hits by al green: because i’m trying to drive myself insane

lone wolf

i am a lone wolf
i always was and will be
i feel fine
i am resigned to this
i am a lone wolf
i am a lone wolf

got my cares
wrapped-up all nice and neat
in my suitcase
i’ll take it down the street
to a place with plenty of space for me
i am a lone wolf

i am a lone wolf
it blows my mind
that people wanna try to get
inside my tired head
i am a lone wolf
i am a lone wolf

i am a lone wolf
nobody needs to get too close to me
you’ll only see this truth
i am a lone wolf
— “lone wolf,” by eels, from shootenanny!

it looks like fiona apple’s extraordinary machine is finally going to get an official release, after having been reworked with another producer. it will be interesting to see if that was a good idea.

terra naomi will be playing at the hotel cafe next thursday night at 10pm. she’s been getting a lot of attention on myspace, and is about to kick off a nationwide tour. i just got her latest ep, recorded with a full band, and it’s great stuff. “the vicodin song” is killer.

matt haughey’s prediction that she’ll be a household name in february 2006 may end up being a little aggressive, but he also may not end up being too far off.

so it looks like next thursday will be the last time to catch her in los angeles until november at least.

last night i saw george sarah and friends, part of the grand performances at california plaza. the music was okay, but i don’t think it was well-suited for live performance — it had a little too much of that “press play on the synthesizer” feel. i only stuck around for the first half, of which the highlight was monique powell, of save ferris, singing a couple of songs.

next tuesday at 7pm, zócalo will be having one of their events at the california plaza, a discussion with robert j. dowling, editor-in-chief and publisher of the hollywood reporter, and joel stein, columnist for the los angeles times. it could be interesting, since i think stein runs in second place to editorial cartoonist michael ramirez as the person people would most like to see gone from the op-ed pages of the la times. but ramirez has a pulitzer to hold his critics at bay, so i think stein is more likely to be the first to disappear.

jeannie’s diary

how does her world spin
without me in her nest?
could there really be such happiness?

oh, she’s got a dark side too
even murderous
but i love that
just like her

i don’t have a chance at writing the book
i just wanna be a page
in jeannie’s diary
one single page
in jeannie’s diary

yes i am intense
maybe quite obsessed
everything she does is curious

oh, she’s going to let me in
i just know it’s so
then again, who do i kid?

i don’t have a prayer for writing the book
i just wanna be a page
in jeannie’s diary
one single page
in jeannie’s diary

she could have anything she wants
so why not me?
she could have anything she dreams
oh, to be one single page
one single page
in jeannie’s diary
“jeannie’s diary,” by the eels

back biters and syndicators

back biters and syndicators
standing all around the door
back biters and syndicators
standing all around the door
and there’s whisperin’ every day
hopin’ i’d go away to stay.

ooo-ooo-wee, ooo
almost ruin* my happy home
almost ruin my happy home
i’ll be glad when the day come
you leave these syndicators alone

i can’t understand, little girl
that they don’t mean you no good
i can’t understand, little girl
that you don’t know they don’t mean you no good
you’ll find these kind of people
in every neighborhood

back biters and syndicators
can’t you see ’em standing around the door?
back biters and the syndicator
can't you see 'em standing around the door?
i’m gonna move on down the line
i don’t have to be bothered no mo’.
— “back biters and syndicators,” by john lee hooker

* this sounds like “overrun” to me, but i’m going with the lyrics sites here.

i caught terence blanchard at grand performances on saturday, or at least part of it, and one funny thing that happened is that these two older gentleman and some woman started dancing on the secondary stage that is sort of off to the side of the main stage, in front of the amphitheater-style seats.

one of the organizers of the grand performances went to ask them to knock it off, and got booed by the audience and then applauded when he relented.

the old guys were pretty funny, but had a great purity to them. you really got the feeling they were just into the music, and letting it move them.

the place was full — not quite as packed as for mad hot ballroom, but more people than i remember from the performances i went to last year.

fuel-injected dreams: a novel by james robert baker is a story about a late-night radio dj’s life colliding with a phil spector-like record producer who has retreated into drug-addled nuttiness. it’s funny and well written, with some clever plot twists and an appropriately loopy ending.

the book is 20 years old, which makes some of it seem eerily prescient with spector on trial for murder now.

it always bugs me that in “pass the mic”, the beastie boys rhyme commercial with itself. it’s the sort of thing that you notice once, and can’t shake whenever you hear the song again.

Everybody’s rapping like it’s a commercial
Actin’ like life is a big commercial
So this is what I’ve got to say to you all
Be true to yourself and you will never fall
And now I’d like to pass the mic to the a

even more new music

the last was a bit of clearance-bin randomness. with a cover and title like that, how could i not buy it?

more music

music from the oc, bitch

i bought a few tracks from the itunes music store, mostly inspired by jessica coen pointing out what song was played during the funeral in the season finale of the oc.

the last isn’t from the oc, it’s just a version of “rainbow connection” that i heard a few times on the singers & standards music channel on directv and really liked.

there’s now 97 tracks in my “purchased music” listing in itunes. most of those are albums, but now that i’ve started listening to my music in party shuffle mode more often than not, i’m warming up to buying singles.

i got the urge recently to buy music by artists and in genres where i don’t have much music. more grist for the constant party shuffle of my whole music library (which cracked 20GB).

so far, i really love will the circle be unbroken and one nation under a groove.

i bought it all at cheap-cds.com, and got it quickly since they are located in southern california. i like their minimalist approach, although it had a disturbing tendency to lose my shopping cart. i’m surprised they don’t have a similar dvd service.

one thing that marillion deserves is more recognition for how they’ve really stepped up to being a fan-supported band, and have largely disentangled themselves from the major record labels. this article in the independent covers the recent “marillion weekend”, which was like a weekend-end long concert and fan festival. they’ve had a united states tour financed by the fans, and have now released two albums financed by their fans.

compare that to the recent saga of fiona apple’s latest not-yet-released album. imagine how different things could have been if the fans had financed the album instead of apple being stuck in the mess she’s apparently in with her label.

it puzzles me that the goal of some musicians is to hand over so much control to a record label, even after they often have to be very hands-on in doing the same sorts of things the label will be doing for them.

i think we’ll see an accelerating trend away from the major labels as more music is made available online, just because it almost totally squeezes out the distribution costs. i’m not sure that it is quite as imminent as mark cuban thinks it is, but it is only a matter of time. when you can spend a few hundred dollars a month to pump out bits at 10Mb/s and supplement that with a tool like bittorrent, the economics of releasing music online starts to look very attractive.

and i think that is irrespective of the outcome of grokster vs. riaa. if there’s an upside to that case, it demonstrates that the labels are not employing a fire and motion strategy. they’re focused on defense.

i tell ya, it’s almost enough to make one want to start an online music label. and one potentially brilliant way to start would be by buying out fiona apple’s sony contract.

one of the great things about just setting itunes on party shuffle is that i get to hear things like tracks from the yellow album that i would almost never listen to otherwise. one of the not-so-great things is that if you happen to have an artist that is over-represented in your collection (perhaps because of various live albums), you really notice it.

smoosh in los angeles

smoosh will be opening for mates of state at the knitting factory on saturday, february 19, and doing an in-store appearance at amoeba on monday, february 21.

the kleptones have released a new mix, from detroit to j.a. it may be their best work yet. (i was previously partial to yoshimi battles the hip-hop robots.)

john gruber writes about the flash-based ipod rumors, and brings up the problem of how you could possibly make a smaller ipod than the mini. i wonder if you could put the clickwheel on the back, and have it still be usable. it would take a little bit more effort to learn to use, but i think it would be feasible. (and is unlikely.)


the two new albums i just got are a study in constrasts: encore by eminem and she like electric by smoosh (the latter discovered via d. keith robinson). buy the smoosh album now. make your own call on the eminem album — i assume that you have discovered whether you like his music or not by now.

the internet is for porn (mp3, via jeremy zawodny). this is from avenue q, a broadway sesame street spoof that will be opening a second show at the new wynn las vegas resort and country club in 2005.

brian wilson will be performing smile at walt disney concert hall next tuesday and wednesday, and i’m just finding out today, long after it is sold out. bummer.

here’s an itunes annoyance. why can’t i set the in and out times for tracks in a playlist without editing it for the track in the itunes library as a whole? i’m not usually a playlist person (i tend to listen to albums in full), but i thought it might be fun to put together a playlist and give away some copies (on cd). i’d like to tighten up some of the between-song space, but the interface to do so is way too limited.

i blew some of my amazon gift certificates (earned from routing much of my finances through my amazon visa card) on new music:

update: smile is brilliant.

this piece from wired about shunning the ipod’s standard ear buds to appear independent has to be one of the dumbest articles i’ve read in a while. here’s a particularly dumb quote:

"Most people I know are so in love with theirs that they spend weekends hanging out at the Apple store in SoHo stocking up on accessories," she said.

i knew someone in college who had that “can’t like things that other people like” mentality, which ultimately puts you under the same thumb as liking the things that other people like. i guess contrariness and independence are easily confused.

(the cord for my ear buds is splitting apart, and is currently taped. did you know you can’t buy replacement ear buds from apple? yes, i’m one of those oddballs who doesn’t mind them, and would rather not have completely in-ear headphones.)

i’ve only given it one listen while i was working, but a night at the hip-hopera by the kleptones is great. (and i already like it a lot more than the grey album, another album in the same sort of rip-mix-burn spirit.)

i took a dip into the itunes music store again, and picked up the eponymous debut album from mosquitos. i found it via salon’s music sampler. it’s a fun album, although too short. they have another coming out in october.

now i’m thinking that i may have jumped the gun in buying it from the itunes music store, though. i’ve got another growing itch to visit amoeba records.

k-billy’s super sounds of the 70s

the top 100 albums of the 1970s, according to pitchfork magazine. i only own about four albums on the list. i’m more of an even-numbered decade sort of guy (okay, not really — most 80s music is crap).

but this did inspire me to pull up herbie hancock’s head hunters in itunes, and the first track is so baked into my brain as the background music from toejam & earl (one of the sega genesis incarnations).

(via hit & run.)

those better be top-of-the-line bits

the new beastie boys album (to the 5 boroughs is $13.49 from amazon, and $14.85 from the itunes music store. i hope that makes sense to someone. (i’d love to get the album, but reportedly the cd is copy-protected, and i don’t want to deal with that.)

it’s bad enough that buying things through the itunes music store isn’t that great of a deal when you consider you’re getting a lower sound quality than a cd (not that i can tell the difference) and no physical media, but more expensive is just absurd.

the dirty dozen brass band will be playing a free show at amoeba records in hollywood on may 22 at 4pm. they have a new album, funeral for a friend, coming out on may 11.

they come back for a full show at the hollywood bowl in august.

marillion has hit the top 10 with their latest single in the UK, for the first time since the 80s. the register has the details. (i’m one of the folks who bought the album before it had been made. i haven’t really had time to sit down with it yet, though.)

one thing that strikes me about dj danger mouse, of the grey album fame, is that he also ripped off his name from someone else. i’m just saying.

to push one of my amazon orders over the free-shipping threshold, i ordered speakerboxxx/the love below by outkast. i’m not a huge hip-hop/rap fan, but this is great stuff.

brian wilson is back in the studio completing smile, the followup to pet sounds that he abandoned when sgt. pepper’s lonely hearts club band was released. it will be out in the fall: can’t wait!


i picked up some new music from the very cool cd baby.

i originally hit cd baby looking to pick up terra naomi’s album (based on matt haughey’s recommendation and the tracks available from her site), but got sucked into buying a few more albums as long as it made the per-disc shipping cheaper. (and i’m not at all disappointed in any of the albums. the moonraker album in particular is great stuff.)

top 25 most played

#1 #2 #3 – #16 #17 – #24 #25

more flecktones

i caught béla fleck and the flecktones: live at the quick on pbs the other day, and victor wooten’s rendition of amazing grace on the bass is simply awe inspiring. he is an amazing, amazing bass player. the whole group is probably the single greatest collection of musicians i’ve ever seen play together.

i don't know that i ever really considered having music used in a commercial as a sell-out. heck, signing up with a major record label is a bigger sell-out, as far as i’m concerned. (but i like to think of myself as someone who doesn’t dislike a band just because other people start to like them.)

the article is also interesting to me because i happen to like the apples in stereo. i found their music by way of their song on the powerpuff girls soundtrack, from which i bought albums by pretty much every artist. i went on to buy every bis album.

(as far as the apples in stereo go, i have to say i liked their contribution to the soundtrack more than their album. still great stuff, though.)